Comment on Hymn 156 and see more Isaac Watts poems below.
Presumption and despair; or, Satan's various temptations.
I hate the tempter and his charms,
I hate his flatt'ring breath;
The serpent takes a thousand forms
To cheat our souls to death.
He feeds our hopes with airy dreams,
Or kills with slavish fear;
And holds us still in wide extremes,
Presumption or despair.
Now he persuades, "How easy 'tis
To walk the road to heav'n;"
Anon he swells our sins, and cries,
"They cannot be forgiv'n.
[He bids young sinners "yet forbear
To think of God, or death;
For prayer and devotion are
But melancholy breath.
He tells the aged, "they must die,
"And 'tis too late to pray;
In vain for mercy now they cry,
For they have lost their day.
Thus he supports his cruel throne
By mischief and deceit,
And drags the sons of Adam down
To darkness and the pit.
Almighty God, cut short his power,
Let him in darkness dwell
And that he vex the earth no more,
Confine him down to hell.
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